Fading Memories Made Into Eternal Artworks
At Alfred University the Golden Years Club and the Foundry Guild are working together to make the Alzheimer’s Iron Project possible. Alzheimer’s Iron is a multi-step, cross-generational art project that will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. The project is made up of four steps: production of artwork by elderly community members, interpretation of these works and rendered sculptures by iron castors, gallery shows and an auction featuring the artwork. We aim to spread of knowledge about Alzheimer’s Disease. The project is currently being advised by Dr. Robert Maiden, Dr. Danielle Gagne, and Coral Lambert.
The first step of the project involves the Golden Years Club (a community service based gerontology club) facilitating the making of artwork in nursing homes and assisted living communities in Allegheny and Steuben Counties. Each two hour session allows residents one-on-one interaction with our trained club members. Elderly artists create paintings from red iron oxide and black ink and white paint. Research has shown that “the human brain supports-perhaps thrives on-creative activity and certain types of creative challenges." Such activities "may foster repair and growth of brain structures and their attendants behaviors.”
A handful of elders that participate in the painting session will also have an alginate mold (this is a mold making material that captures extraordinarily small detail) taken of their hands. The hands will be cast in Iron and duplicated, one will be given as a memento to the elders’ families and the other sold for fundraising purposes.
The paintings made are given to students at The National Casting Center Foundry at Alfred University to create sculptures in response or homage to the elder’s artwork. The artist involved is provided with information about Alzheimer’s disease and it’s affects on the elderly individual and their families.
After the students has sculpted their art out of wax or non drying clay, they rally together to perform a cupola iron pour (an ancient art form which melts iron in a furnace). The community and families of the elderly involved in the Alzheimer’s Iron project are encouraged to come watch the pour and meet all of the wonderful cast iron artists involved.
All paintings and sculptures will be shown together. The cast iron sculptures will be sold in a silent auction with all proceeds being donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. The show and auction will be held in one of the Alfred University galleries or, possibly, in creative art centers in Wellsville or Hornell, New York.
Nine sculptures were cast in Iron for the first chapter of the Alzheimer’s Iron project on February 23rd. The pour was incredibly successful and beautiful molten iron flowed from Coral Lamberts magical furnace "Mothra"! Five students ( Elise Betrus, Katie Fortier, Autumn Newcomb, Haley Jelinek and Tim Pauszek) learned to cast Iron for the first time and over 20 Alfred University students made the pour happen.
On April 26tha new round of students will pour their first cast iron sculptures at Binghamton’s Annual Iron Pour. In addition, students who have cast metal experience will be casting additional pieces for the Alzheimer’s Iron Project.
Alfred University Foundry students Sarah May, Becca Flis, Katie Fortier and Rosemarie Oakman are going to the National Conference on Cast Iron Arts at the historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham Alabama from April 10th-13th to present their sculptures in a student exhibit, promote the project and pour more cast iron artworks for the Alzheimer’s Iron Project.
the summer students wish to continue work on the Alzheimer’s Iron Project at Salem Art Works as well as at the National Casting Center Foundry at Alfred University.
Halloween weekend of fall 2013 will be the next annual Meltdown Pour. The Alzheimer’s Iron project will be represented with a large display. We also plan to have a representative from the Alzheimer’s Association on hand to answer questions and offer support.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW: SATURDAY OCTOBER 26, 2013 - FOOD, FIRE, MUSIC & MOLTEN METAL!
If you, a friend or loved one is living with Alzheimer's and would like to participate in our project please call Rose at 845-705-7499.
If you would like to support us with a donation or if you have scrap iron you can contribute to our project, please phone the number above. We will happily arrange to collect the iron from your property (or feel free to drop it off at the National Casting Center Foundry at Alfred University).
To learn more about Alzheimer's visit the Alzheimer's Association website at http://www.alz.org/
For updates, photos, videos and to learn more about the Alzheimer’s Iron project please check out our blog@Alzheimeriron.blogspot.com